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Discuss the role of music in a single film.

Discuss the role of music in a single film. You can choose any film that you like, even if it is discussed in the text. You are not limited to Hollywood films, as international films are acceptable.


You should choose a film that you enjoy and can watch multiple times. Films are available at the CSULB library media center if you do not have access.

In your paper, do not summarize the plot. It should not look like the Viewer Guides. Please focus on the music. Here are some possible approaches:

  • A narrative approach allows you to talk about the film as it unfolds and analyze the music as it appears in the film. This is the easiest approach and also the least interesting. Still, a good paper that focuses on music can achieve an A grade.
  • You can choose some of the basic qualities of film music (see Chapter 4) and treat one or more separately. This places the emphasis on music more than in the narrative approach.
  • Taking a point of view is the most challenging, thoughtful approach. It is especially recommended as a practice for those going to graduate schools. Decide on a point of view about the music in the film and support your view in a logical manner that does not depend on the narrative or the mechanical listing of musical characteristics. Possible subjects: the role of source music in a film; how does music reflect changes in a character or situation; how does music support the theme or message of a film.

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  • Format: typed with double-spacing
  • Length: 3-5 pages or longer if you use wide margins, big print, or pictures